Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Monday convicted and sentenced five oil thieves, to various terms of imprisonment in separate judgment, over charges bordering on illegal dealing in automotive gasoline oil, AGO.
Two of the convicts, Dahiru Danborno and Sani Haruna were jailed for dealing with 45,000 litres of AGO without appropriate license, while the other three, Peter Listen, Monday Nwibe and Okechukwu Nwosu, were convicted for conveying 12 Jerry cans of AGO in a salon car with Registration Number RGM 787AA, without appropriate licence.
Justice Phoebe Ayuba convicted and sentenced Peter Listen, Monday Nwibe to six months imprisonment each and Okechukwu Nwosu to two years imprisonment, while Justice A.T Muhammed convicted and sentenced Dahiru Danborno and Sani Haruna to two years imprisonment each.
The five convicts were jailed after pleading “guilty” to one- count separate charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products, upon their arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
One of the charge against the convicts read: “That you Peter Listen and Monday Nwibe on or about the 18th of January, 2020 along Port Harcourt/Eket Road, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dealt in petroleum product to wit: AGO contained in 12 Jerry cans conveyed in a Volkswagen Jetta car with Registration Number RGM787AA and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (18) (a)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007”.
Another charge read: “That you Dahiru Danborno on the 2nd day of June, 2021, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did without appropriate license deal in about 45,000 litres of AGO and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (a) of Miscellaneous Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (17) of the same Act.”
They all pleaded “guilty” to the one count charge separately preferred against them by the EFCC.
In view of their pleas, Prosecution Counsel, C. Okorie, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly, while the Defense Counsel, Daminabo Davies Livingstone, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy stressing that the defendants were first-time offenders.
Justice Ayuba convicted and sentenced Listen and Nwibe to six months imprisonment each with an option of fine of N50,000 and Nwosu to two years imprisonment, with an option of fine of N15, 000.
Similarly, Justice Muhammed convicted and sentenced Danborno and Haruna to two years imprisonment each, with separate option of fines. Danborno was given an option of fine of N500, 000 while Haruna was given an option of fine of N200,000.
The two Judges ordered that petroleum products arrested with the convicts be sold by the Deputy Registrar of the court, in conjunction with EFCC officials and the proceeds paid into the Consolidated Revenue account of the Federal Government. Also, all the vehicles arrested with the convicts: Volkswagen Jetta car with Registration Number RGM 787 AA and Mercedes Truck with registration number: XL 634 UWN be returned to their owners.